Chan Clan in Mauritius

Last night was a great celebration night for the Oy King Sar Chan Society at the Imperial China Restaurant. Three Chan were praised and given all honors by the  Chan community for their distinction in their respective fields  following their official recognition by the Nation recently.

What is the purpose of Oy King Sar Chan society? As in many countries where Hakkas have settled, it is customary for the migrants to form benevolent organisation to look after the needs of the poorer members. Solidarity and assistance to the poor are Confucian values that the community of Hakka have always lived amongst the other values. Oy King Sar Chan society which has always been present received a legal status in Mauritius in 1945. This society restricted to members of the Chan clan aims to nurture good relationship amongst the clan members, defend its members and provide social services to the community.

Interestingly enough the Hakkas have always respected the equal rights of the gender: Hakka women were given the nick name of big footed woman, as in the older days the Hakka women supported by their male counter parts refused to have their foot bound . It was traditional for the Han women to bind their feet to keep them small, as a small footed woman was then a sign of distinction.

Of the three Chan’s celebrated last night, the common thread was most importantly the acclamation of these leaders’ perseverance in attaining success through education. This is again a essential Confucian value.

Denise Chan Youn Sen was awarded National recognition for her hard work and dedication as a government civil servant. At a low entry level, Denise joined the service as a temporary accounts clerk; she retired from her service as the Chief finance officer of the ministry of social services.

Yves Chan Kam Lon was awarded by the high distinction of the 2009 US state Alumni a title given to American University student who have outstanding performance in their career. He is now heading the National library and archives of Mauritius, the guardian of the heritage of the country.

As for young Benoit Chan Sui Ko, he won the Economics award Laureate 2008. This will be the start of his career.

The Chan have to be proud of these distinctions. More importantly may the Chinese community continue to contribute to the building of the Mauritian nation.